Rapunzel, the One With All the Hair by Wendy Mass
Release Date: June 1, 2005
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Short and sweet, this is a fractured fairy tale that's perfect for middle grade readers, but funny enough to entertain YA and adult readers. While it does hit on all the major points of the original tale, Wendy Mass weaves in so much original material and characterizations that I think fans of fractured fairy tales who don't usually like the Rapunzel story should still give it a try. I can't even count how many times I laughed out loud from the hilarious one-liners and tongue-in-cheek narration.
The story switches back and forth between Rapunzel and Prince Benjamin's first person perspectives. They each have a distinct voice and I found them both likable characters. Rapunzel is extremely put out at the idea of being locked in a tower (though she observes, "Kicking and screaming in frustration is not doing me much good."), but I found her petulance and pluck endearing instead of annoying.
Prince Benjamin's part of the story seemed the most original to me in that I don't remember ever hearing his side of the story before he meets Rapunzel. I liked getting to know him as a person in his own right separate from his more traditional role.
The romance is pretty light, even for a middle grade book. Rapunzel and the Prince are more just friends, so romantics might be a touch disappointed at the lack of swooning (though, you know, they are supposed to be only about 12 years old).
It's light, quick, and I totally recommend it to fans of fractured fairy tales looking for a laugh. A good pick for readers who enjoy The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede.
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